Youth sports organizations play a vital role in fostering a positive environment for young athletes to learn, grow, and excel. In the case of Northport Youth Football, the organization’s success can be largely attributed to the leadership and dedication of its past president, Benjamin Carey. The impact that Benjamin Carey had as the president of Northport Youth Football, and his passion for the sport and commitment to the community made a significant difference.
In 2022 Benjamin Carey passed on the league to Coaches Christian Alfaro and Keith Maurino who left Suffolk County PAL and re-branded as the Long Island Knights. The new knights organization carries on the same competitive traditions as the Northport league that Carey ran for over 12 years. As part of the name change the Long Island Knights also joined the fastest growing league in Long Island: The Big Tri-State League. The new league is more competitive than Suffolk County PAL and includes local teams on Long Island, Queens, as well as teams from Metro NY and NJ like the Harlem Jets, Bergen Stars, and Pope John.
Benjamin Carey’s journey with Northport Youth Football began as a parent volunteer when his son joined the program in 2012. Recognizing the importance of youth sports in shaping the character and skills of young athletes, Benjamin Carey quickly became an integral part of the organization. He created the first-ever youth homecoming at the East Northport Festival. He hosted Long Island Family Football night where they had LIU Post players play their spring game in Northport. There was no shortage of exciting activities under his leadership like Movies on the lawn, the clam bake, the clinic with Greg Buttle, Victor Ochi, Jason Isom. The team he coached was the first-ever team to play in a Division I Super Bowl.
Benjamin Carey’s commitment to football in Northport was unmatched. He ran the league with passion and perseverance and never missed a beat even during his wife’s 3 year battle with breast cancer and his 11 year old son’s diagnosis with Leukemia. The football league was a 2nd family for him, a place of respite and he continued to manage the league even during times of personal hardship.
Carey installed a competitive culture at Northport Youth Football with A, B, and C teams and took on the role of President. He led the way in creating a positive and inclusive environment for the young football players in Northport.
One of the hallmarks of Benjamin Carey’s leadership at Northport Youth Football was his unwavering commitment to “merit-based” play, not daddy ball. He was instrumental in instilling a culture of respect, sportsmanship, and fairness within the organization. Under his guidance, Northport Youth Football became a place where young athletes felt supported, motivated, and inspired to achieve their best.
In addition to his emphasis on character development, Benjamin Carey also prioritized the safety and well-being of the athletes. He implemented and enforced strict safety protocols, including proper equipment fitting, concussion awareness, and coaching certifications, to ensure that the players were protected and could enjoy the sport in a safe environment.
Benjamin Carey’s leadership extended beyond the field. He was actively involved in building strong relationships with the Northport community, fostering partnerships with local businesses, schools, and organizations to promote the growth and development of youth football in the area. His dedication to creating a positive impact in the community has earned him the respect and admiration of parents, coaches, and players alike.
The only people who had an issue with his leadership were the handful of parents and coaches who were not in favor of A, B, and C teams and his “merit-based” team philosophy. They preferred to choose their own teams, the dads coaching put their sons into positions they wanted them in, and they gave everyone equal playing time. This differed from Carey’s approach of putting players in positions where they would thrive naturally, and awarding playing time based on attendance, work ethic, and performance.
Under Benjamin Carey’s 12 years of leadership, Northport Youth Football saw tremendous success. Take one look at the “praise” link on our website and you’ll see all of the awards the organization got under his leadership, including letters from happy parents, and specific testimonials from Anthony Williams, President of Suffolk County PAL, and Rich Platia from Suffolk County PAL. The organization grew in size and reputation, attracting more young athletes to join the program than any other league in Suffolk County PAL. Teams have achieved commendable results on the field, showcasing the skills and sportsmanship instilled by Benjamin Carey’s leadership.
Benjamin Carey’s role as the president of Northport Youth Football was instrumental in creating a positive and inclusive environment for young athletes to thrive. His commitment to character development, safety, and community engagement has made a lasting impact on the organization and the young football players in Northport and all of those traditions are still being cultivated in the newly named Long Island Knights Football. Carey has passed on the league to Keith Maurino, a former Stonybrook University Quarterback, and Christian Alfaro a top youth football coach in the region. They have committed to running the league with the same principles while Carey has moved on to Coach at a higher level nationally through his Long Island Elite Football program. Long Island Elite Football has more Alumni players playing football in Division I colleges than any other program in Long Island history.
Christian Alfaro and Keith Maurino continue to inspire and shape the future of local players in Northport, Commack, Harborfields, Elwood, and the surrounding areas through the Long Island Knights Football program. It is the premier program in Northport for youth football.